715: Hitachino Nest Beer XH

unnamedName: Hitachino Nest Beer XH
Brewery: Kiuchi Brewery
Country of Origin: Japan
City & State: NA
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Alcohol Content (ABV): 8.3%
First Brewed: 1997
Price: $4.99

Tasting Notes
Hitachino Nest Beer is deep reddish amber, with a light tan head. The aroma of sweet fruitcake with herbal hop notes greets you, while it has a rich and tangy malt profile with dried fruit sweetness. It is a bit like a port wine, with a tangy, sweet finish.

Ricky’s Thoughts

Sake!!! Well, Sake casks. This beer has been sitting in the fridge for a while, so it’s good to read that it can be aged for up to 5 years. It’s not been in the fridge that long, but close. Ha!

This beer was matured in Sake casks, which is awesome. I like Sake. We had some Sake the other night. We went out for Sushi, and you can’t order sushi and NOT order Sake. That’s like ordering pizza and not drinking beer.

This is the last beer from this brewery on the list. So let’s move along, shall we? Cheers, people!

In the Glass: This is not as dark as I would have imagined. It’s a Belgian strong ale. Not a Belgian strong dark ale. So that explains it. Based on the style, I a expecting a big sweet dessert like beer here. I did sneak a sniff, and it smells sweet. Hopefully I can pull some Sake notes from it, too.

Nose: The nose is nice, and sweet, but not as sweet as I expected. It does have a nice earthy aroma to it, so my fingers are crossed for something special. I know this came from Japan, but $4.99 for less than 12 ounces just isn’t a great value. Unless, of course, it’s a white whale. It’s not, though… Total Wine & More can’t sell them!

Flavor: It is too cold, but man, that is a complex beer. I am getting a ton of sweetness up front, then the Sake flavors really kick in. Of course, I am thinking about Sake, so maybe it is just the mouthfeel that I am getting. But man, that is a really solid and complex experience. The finish is nice, and flavors that stick around are sweet, too. Not candy sweet, but a hint of sugary sweetness sticks around.

Mouthfeel: The beer is a lot more carbonated than I expected it to be. Not like a saison, but it is quite carbonated. I bet this beer heats up nice… I just swished some around in my mouth, and boy do the flavors really explode.

As I swallow, the sweetness really takes over. They used a lot of hops in this, but I am not picking many/any of them up throughout. Not a bad thing.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste ROCKS! The sweetness sticks around, and every swallow I am getting more and more of that Sake sweetness. Now I want Sake. Sake bombs, though. Do you drink your Sake hot or cold? I prefer cold… I prefer my coffee cold, too!

I am impressed with this release. Cheers to the folks at Kiuchi Brewery. Job well done. I bet those guys have visited Belgium a time or two. Cheers!

Hitachino Nest Beer XH – The bottle says: “This strong ale was matured in Oak Casks which was used for maturation of Shocyu.

Shocyu is stilled Sake, so please enjoy rich flavor both from the beer and Sake.”

Rating: 4/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

Ricky had me pick the beer for tonight by picking a number. I picked the number 13. He didn’t like it; he hates that number. It has always been unlucky for him. But that’s why I picked it, just to give him a hard time, of course. It ended up being a Hitachino Nest beer, which being an Asian beer, I didn’t expect much from. But when I looked it up on ratebeer.com, it actually has a pretty high rating. So we’ll see how it is.

My beer has been sitting here for a while now, because I have been editing some past reviews that we need to get posted. And now I’ve been sitting here talking to Ricky, so it’s gotten even warmer. It’s hard to describe how it looks in the glass. It’s cloudy like a wheat beer, but darker – kind of a medium brown, but not dark brown like a porter or stout. It had some head to begin with, but as long as I’ve left it sitting here, that has long since dissipated. I can’t really offer much on the smell either. The longer it sits there, the more it seems the smell goes away, plus the way my allergies have been lately, I can’t smell much anyway. So… time to taste!

First drink… this is a rich beer. But I can’t really pin down the flavor on it. It’s not too hoppy, and not nutty or chocolatey. But it’s a good taste. It’s very rich and actually kind of spicey. I like it. It’s also not overly carbonated. It’s a good balance. This is one I would definitely buy again.

Rating: 4/5

714 bottles of beer on the wall…

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